Vaccine Maitri Diplomacy: India gifts COVIDSHIELD vaccine to more neighbours

Myanmar is one of the first countries to receive government of India’s gift of the “Make in India” 1.5 million doses of COVIDSHIELD vaccines. (Representational Image)

Consignments containing does of COVIDSHIELD vaccines are reaching three neighbouring countries including Myanmar, Mauritius and Seychelles today.

Myanmar is one of the first countries to receive government of India’s gift of the “Make in India” 1.5 million doses of COVIDSHIELD vaccines, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

India-Myanmar Relations

Not only is Myanmar a vital component of India’s “Neighbourhood First” and “Act East” policies, it is also an important land and maritime neighbour of India.

Last April Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a telephone conversation with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar had conveyed India’s readiness to provide all possible support for mitigating the health and economic impact of COVID 19.

Keeping in line with its “Neighbourhood First” policy, India has extended COVID related assistance in two tranches worth Rs 9.380 crore has been extended to Myanmar. As reported earlier, last May the first tranche consisting of medicines, medical equipment over USD 1 million was sent. And, during the visit of Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla and Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane to Myanmar in October 2020 the second tranche consisting of vials of Remdesivir was provided.

Despite COVID-19 related challenges, high level meetings have helped in sustaining the momentum in bilateral ties, including in the ongoing connectivity projects, energy cooperation, defence and security cooperation and capacity building.

In December 2020, there was a meeting between a high-level health delegation from Myanmar with their counterparts to seek cooperation in the field of vaccine delivery, training on clinical trials, they also discussed holding clinical trials of Indian vaccines in that country.

COVIDSHIELD Vaccine reaches Seychelles

As part of India’s vaccine donation programme a consignment of 50,000 (fifty thousand) doses of COVISHIELD vaccine is reaching Seychelles soon, making it one of the four Indian Ocean countries to receive the doses.

This donation under the Vaccine Maitri shows India’s role as a reliable partner of Seychelles and also as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and also enjoys an important place in SAGAR: “Security and Growth for All in the Region”.

Vaccines on way to Mauritius

Mauritius, one among the Indian Ocean countries is set to receive a consignment of 100,000 (1 lakh) doses of COVISHIELD vaccine, as Indian grant. The country is also an important part of India’s vision of SAGAR.

The donation of 1 lakh doses of Covishield vaccines will play a vital role in complementing its ongoing recovery plans from the effects of the pandemic. And it will also cover the vaccination requirement of a considerable percentage of its frontline medical workers.

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